Sunday, June 14, 2015

Did You Just Say What I Thought You Said?

Although my son and husband keep reminding me to add photos to my blog, I still just want to write. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I really don't actually talk to too many people. So blogging is my way of chatting. 

But the problem is, do my readers/followers understand what I am writing/saying?

In the last week, I have noticed that communication in English (or in any language) is as murky as muddy water.

One of the bloggers I follow recently had an interesting and obviously misunderstanding of shopkeepers in Miami. She found shopkeepers too loud and rude when she and her family were greeted by,  "Hi! Welcome! What is your name?" 

I wasn't there as a witness, but I know the loud, enthusiastic merchants can be overwhelming. BUT, I also know that when you enter their shops that they DO NOT ask your name! So what did the blogger really hear? Well, I think the shopkeepers asked one of these two questions:
"How Are You?"
"How Can I Help You?"

And how did the Dutch blogger/tourist translate these questions? " Hoe heet jou/jij?" (What is your name?) 

Now how rude is that? You enter a shop in a strange country and are asked your name? When all you wanted to do was buy a pack of gum or a Coke or a hamburger?

Wrong translation! Misunderstanding! Muddy Waters!

Here is another example of miscommunication: This time the misunderstanding was in my text. My niece and her lovely young daughters had just finished a fun summer walk/ride through their new neighborhood, and my niece posted a photo on Instagram. Being the commenter that I am, I wrote to my niece that I hoped she was keeping track of her steps. She thought I meant that she should spend her time and attention actually counting the steps, while I was just curious to see if she was wearing a pedometer ( like I know many people do, like me). 

Wrong translation! Misunderstanding! Muddy Waters!

And then my latest "lost in translation" experience happened with my blogpost text on Thursday, June 11, 2015. I always get a good laugh from Google Translate's interpretation of my blogpost text. Thursday's blog was no exception! But it may have caused some confusion, too.

Wrong translation! Misunderstanding! Muddy Waters!

Have a Sunny Sunday, everyone! 

(No translation needed!)


Anonymous said...

Yes the English language can be a confusing mind field at times.

handmade by amalia said...

If there are small misunderstandings, I just remember that people in blogland always mean well. The dog, though, looks a bit confused.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

It happens. I just try to give people the benefit of the doubt.